Sensations from acupuncture vary from none at all to an ache at the site of insertion but will typically dissipate very quickly. Now, I’m sure you’re wondering…what is acupuncture even used for exactly?
Acupuncture is one of the oldest healing modalities in the world and is considered one of the eight branches of Chinese medicine. It was and still is used all throughout Asia and was even used in Mayan healing rituals. It works by balancing your qi, or life force, and thereby eliminating pain and other symptoms you may be experiencing. The main tool used by acupuncturists is small, hair-thin needles inserted at different places throughout the body to address not only the symptoms the person is experiencing but also addressing the root cause of those symptoms. Acupuncture is often performed alongside moxibustion.
Here is a common list of symptoms that acupuncture can be used to address:
Unlike pharmaceuticals, there are no side effects associated with acupuncture. In fact, acupuncture can help support those who are interested in weaning off certain medications (as overseen by a primary healthcare practitioner) and allow for your body to detoxify from the often harmful chemicals often found in those drugs.
Our integrated approach to health and healing means incorporating aspects of Psychology, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Five Element Acupuncture, Nutrition Counseling, and Herbal Medicine into how we practice.
There are different styles of acupuncture we practice at our healing center including Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Acupuncture, Five Element Acupuncture, and Dry Needling. Regardless of the style, you are familiar with, all acupuncture treatments look fairly the same: intake with your practitioner, your practitioner will listen to your pulses and also possibly look at your tongue, and then they will come up with a treatment plan. All practitioners use nutrition, herbal medicine, and lifestyle coaching to further enhance and expedite your healing journey.
TCM Acupuncture is a style of acupuncture where needles are placed superficially in strategic energy centers on the body, meanwhile, you are left to rest for about 15-25 minutes while the acupuncture needles do their work. With this style of acupuncture, your practitioner is looking for patterns of imbalance that have led to your challenging symptoms or diagnosis. They focus their work on supporting you to heal these patterns of imbalance and to find resilience.
Five Element Acupuncture is a style of acupuncture where (typically) moxa is burned on acupuncture points and then needles are inserted and removed right away. The practice may look similar to TCM, however, the philosophy is very different. In Five Element Acupuncture, your practitioner will diagnose your constitution and focus their treatment on supporting that, along with reducing or eliminating challenging symptoms.
Dry needling is a modern term for an old acupuncture technique known as trigger point therapy or surrounding the dragon or ashi points. This is where a needle is inserted into a strategic place in the body and stimulated repeatedly to release pain and muscle spasms. Dry needling has gotten a bad rep over the last several years as there are many non-acupuncturists practicing it and causing harm.
Adjunctive therapies such as cupping, moxibustion, guasha, tuina, and shiatsu are almost always included with acupuncture treatment.
Depending on what you are working on with your health and the severity of your symptoms, the number of treatments needed will vary from person to person. The great news is that most people report feeling better after their first treatment. And since each treatment builds on the next, your commitment to treatment can create immense change for you and your life.
Scared of needles? Not to worry. We have worked with a TON of people who say this! Let’s be honest, most of our adult associations with needles are terrible. Western medicine typically uses large needles and we are often introduced to them within hours of entering this world, which leads to a big ouch! Acupuncture needles are so, so very tiny. We work with many people and children who start off terrified of treatment but eventually come to appreciate the sensations and most especially after they feel the wonderful effects of treatment.
If you simply can’t do the needle-thing, you might want to try acupressure first or shonishin, a needleless form of pediatric acupuncture. The philosophy and focus of treatment are the same as acupuncture but without the use of needles. Acupressure and shonishin have proven effective with animals, children, and adults, too. Most acupuncturists also offer acupressure as an adjunctive therapy.
Healing is a journey and there are often many layers to peel back in order to uncover and transform from a pattern of pain and suffering to that of enhanced immunity, vitality, and optimal health. Committing to yourself and your healing is an important part of the process. Clients who commit to seeing one of our incredible practitioners more frequently for the first few months, notice more significant and sustainable changes in their health on all levels.
Have more questions? Check out this FAQ post or contact our office to schedule a free 15-minute consultation with one of our amazing practitioners.
Our practice accepts insurance for Acupuncture! We work with all types of insurance including United Healthcare, Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Anthem, Tri-West, Liberty Healthshare, and the VA.
If you don’t see your insurance company listed, you can still check your benefits below.
In order to best serve you, we can verify your insurance benefits before you arrive (how cool?!).
Please click on the link below and complete our brief online form. We will contact you as soon as we verify your benefits, usually within 24-48 hours.